What excites you more about next gen phones: The new technology or the price drop?Anna Scantlin - Contributing Editor
Spring and fall are two very exciting seasons during the year for the mobile industry, mostly because those are generally the seasons when we get to see the year's new tech hit the market. Earlier this year, we had a pretty exciting start with the launch of devices like the Samsung Galaxy S4, HTC One, and Sony Xperia Z. Now that summer is coming to an end and fall is officially about to begin, we're gearing up to see some pretty exciting releases starting next week during the Samsung Unpacked event for the Galaxy Note III and the Galaxy Gear smartwatch, and also for the Sony event where we can expect to see their Xperia Z1 or "Honami", and possibly even the Honami Mini. Just two days after that marks the official start of IFA 2013 in Berlin.
But while we're definitely excited to hear about what specs these new devices bring to the table, there's another plus side to new devices coming out: lowering the prices of last year's models. Although the phones might not have what's considered "top notch specs" anymore, most of the time you'll find that last year's models are far from being anything to sneeze at, especially for more popular devices.
Take the Nexus 4 for example. Released during the fall of 2012, the device already had a cheap off-contract price starting at just $299 for the 8GB model, and while the device wasn't technically anything super special feature-wise, it was a pretty decent buy for not having to sign a contract. The Nexus 4 featured a 4.7" display with a 1280 x 768 pixel resolution, a Qualcomm Snapdragon S4 Pro CPU, 2GB of RAM, an 8-megapixel rear-facing camera, and able to get up to HSPA+ speeds, the Nexus 4 is a great device for developers or anybody who doesn't need the best specs. By only featuring stock Android, the Nexus 4 also cuts out the bloatware and gives you direct updates for Android straight from Google.
And if the initial $299 price didn't blow you away, the fact that the Google Play Store is now selling the Nexus 4 for $100 less than what it initially started for. That's right, the Nexus 4 now sells starting at just $199 for the 8GB version, and because of this we can infer (although we probably shouldn't) that a new Nexus is just around the corner for us. If you ever had a doubt in your mind on whether you should purchase the Nexus 4 because you thought the price wasn't worth it, now is definitely one of those times where you might want to reconsider. $199 is a killer price for a phone to be sold at, especially one like the Nexus 4. I mean, I didn't even really want to buy the Nexus 4, but at a price like that I'm seriously considering getting one.
It really depends on the device, but sometimes I get more excited about the price drop rather than the new device itself. Like yeah, it's cool that we advance technology, but in some cases I think I would rather get a good deal than have more power in a device. For example, if I hadn't already had the iPhone 4S when the iPhone 5 was released and I was looking at purchasing an iPhone, I probably would have gone for the 4S myself. There wasn't enough differences in the two devices for me to feel particularly more wowed at the iPhone 5 over the 4S, and I was more impressed with what the 4S offered for the decrease in price over the 5 for $199. Not to say that it was that way for everybody, of course.
Then there are other times where I would rather pay a higher price for the newer model. I mentioned earlier that I went ahead and purchased the Galaxy S4, and although I directly mentioned thinking that I would rather have it over the HTC One, I didn't really mention why I didn't go for the cheaper, yet still successful Galaxy S III. I felt that despite the Galaxy S4 looking so similar to the Galaxy S III, it did offer more in just about every sense possible. Better camera, faster processor, bigger battery and a better screen resolution. In the end I decided that the Galaxy S 4 was worth the extra $100 than the Galaxy S III, but I could definitely still see the appeal for people who would rather have a discount and use that $100 for other things rather than a couple of upgrades that they may have never even noticed otherwise.
So with so many new devices expected to come out over the next couple of months, I turn to you, readers, and ask what you're more excited for: Are you more excited for the discounts from last year's models, or are you more excited for the new models ready to come out? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!
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